Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageFinnish micro-factory highlights path to business success

By Tim Sandle     Sep 11, 2017 in Business
The ANT Plant is a Finnish industrial innovation that involves constructing a micro-factory. This approach can challenge the existing practice of mass production in countries with low production costs. A plant is to be set up in the U.S.
The Finnish micro-factory approach challenges the established model of a large manufacturing plant and workforce. Such traditional plants are effective at producing standardized goods at a rapid rate. However, they are less effective at niche production and their high set-up costs require the large scale production of goods at a relatively low cost in relation to the sale price.
In contrast, the micro-factory concept is based on robotics and a flexible approach to manufacturing. Then key selling point is that the factory can be set-up and put to work very quickly. Once established the manufacturing of products is straightforward. The designers of the concept - EID Tech (Kuopio, Finland) - operate partnership agreements to allow for the upkeep and to cover the lifespan services of the micro-factories. This helps, according to Jari Helminen who is the CEO of EID Tech, to reduce the operational expertise of the company who purchases a micro-factory.
The speed of the micro-factory construction process can be seen in the video below:
In terms of example of use, one ANT Plant concept is currently used to manufacture mass-produced LED lamp tubes. Through the process, up to one million LED lamp tubes can be produced per year. This includes the steps of assembly, testing and packing on only one production line. This sets the basis for the micro-factory being particularly suitable for a range of electronic consumer goods, especially with the lighting sector (with what is termed ‘customer-specific industrial automation’). As well as LED lamp tubes the concept can be rapidly applied to LED bulbs and LED panels and down lights.
Initial interest has come from the global electronics industry. According to the developers, the value of ANT Plant is over 20 million euros with the potential for annual sales worth tens of millions of euros. One of the investors in the concept is the Finnish businessman Pia Kantola, and the total raised for marketing the concept is $357,000 (€300,000). In a statement Kantola said: “I strongly believe in Finnish engineering skills and in EID Tech, which is a company with both innovativeness and perseverance, together with a thorough knowledge of the automation business.”
The reason why the Finnish manufacturers are targeting the U.S. is because of the current industrial policy which allows for tax reliefs to domestic production.
More about microfactory, Factory, Automation, Pia Kantola
More news from